per·​son·​i·​fy | \ pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce personify (audio) \
personified; personifying

Definition of personify

transitive verb

1 : to conceive of or represent as a person or as having human qualities or powers
2 : to be the embodiment or personification of : incarnate a teacher who personified patience

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Other Words from personify

personifier \ pər-​ˈsä-​nə-​ˌfī(-​ə)r How to pronounce personifier (audio) \ noun

Examples of personify in a Sentence

The ancient Greeks personified the forces of nature as gods and goddesses. Justice is personified as a woman with her eyes covered.

Recent Examples on the Web

The movement, personified by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is trying to chart a path away from a new Gilded Age of garish inequality and rising economic anxiety. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "The Many, Tangled American Definitions of Socialism," 14 June 2019 The pot of gold at the other side of the rainbow fully personified. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Calling It Now, Rainbow Dresses Are The Next Big Thing," 29 May 2019 The Maine West Warrior was personified by a student dressed in a buckskin-like costume and a feathered headdress. John Keilman,, "Maine West High School retires American Indian mascot following debate over use," 1 May 2018 Her final surrender to the riptides of competing opinions on Europe in her own party, the nation’s Parliament and the country at large seems to personify the intensity of current political divisions. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: British politics reflect change — and stability," 14 June 2019 There is no forgiveness because Godzilla is our environmental transgressions reflected back to us, personified in the form of a monstrous reptile. Julian Ch Lee, Quartzy, "Godzilla is the perfect monster for our age of environmental destruction," 1 June 2019 Image For more than four decades, Richard Branson has personified showy entrepreneurship on a grand scale. David Gelles, New York Times, "Richard and Holly Branson: A Father-Daughter Conversation," 29 June 2018 Sheer menace was personified in McCovey, Jim Ray Hart, Dave Parker and Kevin Mitchell. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "A crazy, comprehensive ode to the Giants’ and A’s Bay Area tenures," 27 Mar. 2018 Seniors Ali Horn, Isabelle Rocco, Kelsey Ryan and Savanna Swanson personified that for the Naperville North girls water polo team during Saturday’s 11-9 win over Loyola in the third-place game at Stevenson. Paul Johnson,, "Four seniors see bright future after leading Naperville North to third place in state in girls water polo," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of personify

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for personify

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for personify

The first known use of personify was in 1728

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More Definitions for personify



English Language Learners Definition of personify

: to have a lot of (a particular quality) : to be the perfect example of a person who has (a quality)
: to think of or represent (a thing or idea) as a person or as having human qualities or powers


per·​son·​i·​fy | \ pər-ˈsä-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce personify (audio) \
personified; personifying

Kids Definition of personify

: to think of or represent as a person The hero is bravery personified.

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Comments on personify

What made you want to look up personify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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